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Recently, we saw SteamOS 3.7 appear in the "Main" advanced update channel on the Steam Deck, without any mention of the previous update. Well, now we have the answer! SteamOS 3.6 has officially shipped to the Preview update channel on the Deck, giving us a chance to see what Valve has been cooking up for the next SteamOS update, and we have a changelog!

Some of the big improvements include a more recent Arch Linux base and updated Linux Kernel, improved Bluetooth connection speed, better performance and stability in situations where memory is pressured, better Mura Compensation, updated KDE Plasma (Desktop Mode), and an updated Mesa graphics driver, which should improve performance significantly across the board.

But, there were also some improvements I didn't expect to see here, which is quite nice. We have improved speed for OS updates in general, the ability to configure which Bluetooth device categories can wake the system from sleep (default is set to only controllers), better UI responsiveness, and added overclocking controls to the LCD Steam Deck. I definitely didn't expect to see that last addition, but it is welcome regardless!

You can check out SteamOS 3.6 for yourself by going to your System Settings and switching to the "Preview" update channel.

SteamOS 3.6 Preview Update Changelog:


  • Updated to a more recent Arch Linux base
  • Improved pairing experience with Apple AirPods
  • Improved session recovery speed after GPU crashes
  • Fixed some connectivity failures with access points supporting WPA3 security
  • Updated Linux kernel to version 6.5
  • Improved speed of subsequent OS updates
  • Improved reliability of certain microSD card usage scenarios
  • Fixed game session cursor offset alignment
  • Worked around misdetection of some SanDisk microSD cards
  • Fixed an issue where a thin grey line could appear at the bottom of the screen during boot in some situations
  • Fixed an issue causing temporary files to accrue when using Flatpak
  • Enabled support for Bluetooth A2DP and BAP profiles
  • Improved connection speed of some Bluetooth devices
  • Improved performance and stability in memory pressure situations
  • Fixed an issue where the Performance Overlay would spuriously enable itself under certain conditions
  • Added mechanism to configure which Bluetooth device categories are allowed to wake the system from suspend
    • By default, controllers are the only devices that can wake the system from sleep
    • Finer-grained UI configuration options will be available as part of a future update


  • Improved display uniformity, under some conditions (Mura Compensation)
  • Improved display color balance (reduced green tint) at lower brightness levels, under some conditions
  • Improved gamma uniformity (yellow tint), under some conditions

Graphics and Performance

  • Updated graphics driver to Mesa 24.1, with many performance and correctness improvements
  • Improved responsiveness of the Steam UI

Desktop Mode

  • Updated to KDE Plasma 5.27.10
  • Enabled thumbnail previews for videos in the file browser
  • Fixed an issue with desktop use that could cause subsequent microSD card auto-mount to fail

Deck Dock

  • Added support for some HDMI CEC features:
    • TV remote input
    • TV wake up
    • TV input switching
  • Updated Dock firmware, with compatibility fixes for high-refresh-rate VRR displays


  • Added overclocking controls on Steam Deck LCD
  • Fixed not being able to set the SDCard as default boot device
  • Adjusted power LED slow charging threshold
  • Fixed spurious power LED blinking in S5

Development and Modding

  • Modified files in /etc are now migrated to new OS versions based on a whitelist
    • Fixes numerous issues with incidentally touched /etc files becoming 'sticky' and persisting unexpectedly
    • Additional whitelist entries can be added via config fragments
      • See /etc/atomic-update.conf.d/example-additional-keep-list.conf
    • Added /etc/previous/ containing modifications from the previous update to prevent unexpected data loss
      • Up to five previous snaphots of /etc modifications will additionally be retained in /var/lib/steamos-atomupd/etc_backup/
  • Added support for {ssh,sshd}_config fragments

Known Issues

  • Frequent session switches can result in the sound driver crashing, needing a system reboot

If you enjoyed this article, check out the rest of the content on SteamDeckHQ! We have a wide variety of game reviews and news that will help your gaming experience. Whether you're looking for newstips and tutorialsgame settings and reviews, or just want to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, we've got you covered!

Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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